This post is sponsored by Hologic, Inc., the makers of the Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY exam.
This Sunday is National Cancer Survivors Day, and while cancer has managed to take quite a lot from our family over the years, I’m super grateful for the One That Got Away.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back when I was pregnant with Noah. A lump, a mammogram, a biopsy, a mastectomy. A terribly all-too-common story—one in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime—albeit with the silver lining of early detection. When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. Of course, when you’re in the throes of a suspected cancer diagnosis, it’s always a terrifying timeline. How long has it been there before anyone noticed? How fast is it growing while we wait for results? How early is early enough?
This year marks her 11th year as a breast cancer survivor. She was at the hospital the day Noah was born, and has been cancer-free ever since. She’ll be spending this Sunday here at our house, celebrating Ike’s birthday.
As my own 40th birthday looms ever closer, that “one in eight” statistic looms larger. More real. I’m not indestructible, I’ve lost that optimistic fearlessness of your 20s where you naively think nothing bad will happen to you because nothing bad is going to happen to you. Ha! Just you wait.
At the time of my mom’s diagnosis, one of her top concerns was what it meant for my sister and I, her daughters. Did it increase our risk of breast cancer? Was there something we should be doing, checking, testing?
Thankfully her cancer was NOT linked to the BRCA mutation, and her cancer did not mean my sister and I are any more likely to develop it than the average woman without a family history. But considering that’s STILL ONE IN EIGHT WOMEN, that’s not exactly sounding the all-clear signal. Self check regularly. Get a breast exam at the GYN. And get a yearly mammogram starting at 40. Check, check, and welp…I’ll see you in about a year and a half, boob-squishing machine.
The sponsor of this post is actually a new kind of mammogram, the sort of fascinating medical advancement that I find comforting to read about, because YES, FINALLY. PROGRESS IS HAPPENING. The Genius 3D exam detects breast cancer 15 months earlier than conventional mammograms—15 months! It also reduces the dreaded “callback” rate by 40%. (You know, when you get That Call from your doctor saying they need further testing, go on to spend the next couple weeks of your life in agony because you’re sure your boobs are probably definitely trying to kill you, only to get a perfectly clean bill of health because the first mammogram was just playin’, y’all.) As someone who went through TWO lump scares in my 20s due to wonky cysts, I am super on-board with anything that promises better accuracy and fewer needless freakouts.
And so, in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day and breast cancer survivors in particular, I encourage everyone who possesses a rack to CHECK SAID RACK TODAY. If you’re overdue for a mammogram, RECTIFY THAT THERE SITUATION.
Because we’ve had quite enough of your nonsense, cancer.